Tackling the hand-tie

Out of all of the different designs I’ve learned since starting floristry, I’ve found hand-ties to be one of the hardest to master. Coming second only to wired bouquets, but I can’t bring myself to talk about wiring just yet – I’m still scarred. *shudders*

With hand-ties I really struggle to hold all of the flowers securely whilst continuously rotating the design and keeping an eye on the shape and flower placement. Maybe it comes down to hand strength, maybe it comes down to coordination – probably a mix of both.

Plus once you’ve started a hand-tie that’s it, you’re committed until the end. No free hand for making a cup of tea, and if you’ve forgotten to condition any stems or prepare your sundries – good luck trying to do this one-handed!

As a result, it’s very easy for me to revert to the foamy comforts of a centre-piece or basket design where I can sit down, have a cuppa and just poke and go.

But that’s easy. And easy can get boring.

So I’ve decided to challenge myself to master the hand-tie with confidence, and hopefully strengthen my grip in the process – it really does ache! Perhaps once I’ve done this, I’ll think about giving wired bouquets another go. Maybe…

I had some leftover flowers this week from a basket I did for a friend, so I saw this as the ideal opportunity to practise.

Selection of flowers

With about four calla lilies, six germini, a couple of veronica, a tonne of eucalyptus and eryngium all left over, I had a great mix for a medium-sized hand-tie. Finished off with a few stems of fountain grass for good measure.

Starting with a small cluster of each focal I added some euca to separate the colours and began the cycle again; focal, focal, filler, foliage etc etc – making sure to turn the arrangement after every other placement, and slant each stem to the left to create the spiral.

Not much to remember at all…

Anyway, I’m jumping straight ahead to a photo of the finished piece as I’m yet to master taking (non-blurry) photos with one hand. I’m thinking I’ll need to rope my boyfriend in to be my photographer for the next one!

pink calla lily and germini hand-tie
The finished article

I’m pretty pleased with this one considering it’s my first since going solo, but on reflection I could have cut the stems a little bit shorter and it would have looked more complete with some tissue paper wrapping.

All learnings for next time so keep an eye out for hand-tie practise round 2, and I’ll try and do a proper step-by-step for it too 🙂

Emily x





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